Politics department celebrates 50th anniversary

7 October 2011

It is one of the foremost political science departments in the UK, with high league table rankings and an impressive number of graduates going on to work in Westminster and Whitehall. This academic year, the University’s Department of Politics and International Studies celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Politics 50As part of the anniversary celebrations a whole series of events are being planned including an alumni reception and high profile lecture series with guest speakers such as the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP and Hull West and Hessle MP and former Home Secretary, Alan Johnson.

It all began back in 1961, when an independent politics department was created with one professor and three lecturers. Since then, the department has grown dramatically and become a key player in both the study of politics and the political life of the country.

Many graduates have gone on to prominent careers in politics – everything from consultants, civil servants and advisers to  sitting in Parliament. Others have flourished in the arenas of media, public affairs and Ministry of Defence and they continue to stay in close contact with their classmates via the Politics Graduate network. Several former members  and one current member of the Department are currently sitting in the House of Lords, namely Lord Norton of Louth, Lord Parekh, Lord Plant of Highfield and Baron Smith of Clifton.  A number of former students sit or have sat in the House of Commons, including John Trickett, Tom Watson, and Tracey Crouch.

Indeed the high concentration of Hull graduates in Westminster and Whitehall has earned them the name the ‘Hull mafia’.

The Department’s influence in politics is owed in no small part to its popular Westminster internship programme – in existence for more than twenty years - whereby students combine academic work with hands-on experience gained during placements with politicians. Prominent parliamentarians who have taken on students include William Hague, Austin Mitchell, David Davis, and Ed Miliband. The Department is currently expanding the programme to include internships at organisations such as museums and public affairs companies.

‘It promises to be a very special year for the Department of Politics and International Studies and one that I hope our current students and alumni will get involved in,’ said Justin Morris who is Head of Department.

‘It will also provide us with an ideal opportunity to show what the Department has to offer in terms of teaching and research. We hope to encourage the next generation of politics students to choose Hull as a springboard to success.’

Learn more about Politics 50 on the website.

Ends.


Page last updated by Andrea Luquesi on 12/10/2011

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